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Police urge people not to disturb sperm whale

Police are urging people not to get too close to a sperm whale which has been in Whiteness Voe since Monday.

It follows reports of a small boat getting close to the whale yesterday (Monday).

Wildlife crime liaison officer constable Daniel Sutherland said: “This whale is at a clear risk of disturbance and stranding after finding itself in a very restrictive and shallow area of Whiteness.

“Please do not enter the water to get a close sighting of this whale. There are safe viewing spots from the shore which will be safer for both public and the whale.”

Karen Hall of NatureScot said the whale suffered superficial scrapes to its dorsal fin when it became semi-stranded near Nesbister Bod on Tuesday. And it’s believed it briefly beached again yesterday evening.

“Fortunately as both these instances were very short and the whale remained supported by water we are hopeful it has not sustained any internal injuries from these semi strandings,” she said.

“We don’t know why it has come inshore and there are many theories: from the recent earthquake to solar activity, underwater noise, underlying health conditions or maybe it’s just reached the end of its life.

“Unfortunately with a whale this size, combined with the location that its in, there are just no options available to move it out of the voe.

“As frustrating as it is not to do something, anything we did do could end up making matters worse or injuring the animal. We are hoping, like everyone else, that it somehow finds its way back out to sea.”

Police have released this image to help people understand the distance they should keep from the sperm whale.

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Movement of whale sharks to be tracked via satellites

Vishakhapatanam: Climate change and its impact on marine environment have resulted in changes in the distribution, number and seasonality of plankton that the whale sharks, the largest fish, feed on.

The erratic distribution of plankton could be a reason why these giant fish were coming close to the shore, according to Mukta Menon, scientist at the Vizag-based Central Marine Fish Research Institute.

 

Talking to Deccan Chronicle on Wednesday, she said these sharks being filter-feeders depend on microscopic plankton in the sea. The whale shark Rhincodon typus is the largest fish on earth. It is an epipelagic, planktivore fish with late maturation and low number of pups.

These sharks, protected under Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, are seen along the AP coast with varying frequencies.

Prof Shiv Kumar, who teaches Ecology at Pondicherry University, said of late the whale sharks are active along the East Coast. A number of sharks washed ashore there, either having got entangled in nets or been hit by propellers. Unlike sea mammals, these sharks do not have navigation systems or memory.

 

Kumar, who had worked as a scientist with Wildlife Institute of India, proposed maritime states to do satellite tracking of these sharks in order to conserve these endangered species.

“Gujarat has an excellent model in marine conservation and Odisha in protecting Olive Ridley turtles. Maharashtra and Karnakata have conservation programmes and Tamil Naidu has formed a Marine Elite Force,’’ he said.

Mukta said that in Andhra Pradesh, whale sharks get accidentally entangled in fishing gears like gillnets, trawls and hooks & lines. Earlier, fishermen were not very aware of the protection being accorded to whale sharks. However, with awareness campaigns across the coastal districts, fishermen are now aware of the need to protect these charismatic marine fauna.

 

“In fact, they are very proactive in recording themselves releasing these sharks alive back into the sea and posting these videos across social media platforms,’’ she said.

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Taiji’s Massive Captive Dolphin Inventory

Taiji, Japan: It might take a moment to realize that each pen documented in our cover image contains a captive dolphin. Some pens contain multiple dolphins. Within each tiny enclosure was once a free-ranging mammal, ruthlessly caught during the town’s notoriously cruel dolphin drive hunts, and selected for a “life” within man-made enclosures.

During the entire six-month long hunting season, we collaborated once again with Life Investigation Agency (LIA), headed up by campaign director Ren Yabuki and his team of over 46 all-Japanese activists. Together, they ensured continuous, on the ground coverage to document the drives and other events that took place. What they also did was take a meticulous count of the number and species of dolphins confined in Moriura Bay, in Taiji.

Side view of Taiji’s small, captive dolphin pens. Credit: LIA/Dolphin Project

Their numbers are shocking. As of March, 2022, 269 dolphins across nine species are being held captive, making it one of the largest captive dolphin collections in the world. These include:

  • bottlenose dolphins – 180
  • Risso’s dolphins – 35
  • short-finned pilot whales – 11
  • striped dolphins – 8
  • Pacific white-sided dolphins – 19
  • melon-headed whales – 3
  • rough-toothed dolphins – 3
  • spotted dolphins – 9
  • false killer whales – 1

According to LIA’s documentation, the number of captive dolphins should be even higher. Based upon the total mammals captured since November, 2021, at least 25 dolphins are missing – possibly perished, or escaped during January’s tsunami.

For the last several years, Taiji has been increasing their dolphin inventory. The mammals are trained and sold to aquariums and marine parks across the world, where they are exploited for profit. While Taiji’s dolphin sales were decimated in 2020 due to the pandemic, their collection of captive dolphins has only grown larger.

A few years ago, Taiji decided they wanted to create an aquatic theme park in Moriura Bay, where visitors could paddle board, canoe, swim with, and feed captive dolphins. One of their goals is to breed and crossbreed between species, creating unusual and rare mammals such as albino or leucistic dolphins, or hybrid species, for maximum profitability.

Life in captivity is no life at all

Life in captivity is no life at all. Credit: LIA/Dolphin Project

Explains Ren, “Although Taiji is the world’s largest center for live dolphin trades, there is no doubt that the industry will continue to dwindle as the capture, sale and breeding of wild animals becomes increasingly prohibited around the world. The percentage of days dolphin hunters failed to catch any dolphins was 64% in the 2020/21 season, but in this season (2021/22) it was 69%, an increase of 4%. Dolphin Project compiles the number of dolphins caught each year, and the number is decreasing year by year, possibly a result of decades-long hunting practices of killing off entire pods. The town needs to shift away from their cruel practices as soon as possible.”

Featured image: Taiji has amassed one of the largest collections of captive dolphins in the world. Credit: LIA/Dolphin Project

Related

Taiji’s Dolphin Drive Hunts End for Season

 

Dolphin Project Take Action Now

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Chevron Whale Trades For March 22

Someone with a lot of money to spend has taken a bearish stance on Chevron CVX.

And retail traders should know.

We noticed this today when the big position showed up on publicly available options history that we track here at Benzinga.

Whether this is an institution or just a wealthy individual, we don’t know. But when something this big happens with CVX, it often means somebody knows something is about to happen.

So how do we know what this whale just did?

Today, Benzinga‘s options scanner spotted 41 uncommon options trades for Chevron.

This isn’t normal.

The overall sentiment of these big-money traders is split between 41% bullish and 58%, bearish.

Out of all of the special options we uncovered, 12 are puts, for a total amount of $655,604, and 29 are calls, for a total amount of $2,097,058.

What’s The Price Target?

Taking into account the Volume and Open Interest on these contracts, it appears that whales have been targeting a price range from $70.0 to $180.0 for Chevron over the last 3 months.

Volume & Open Interest Development

Looking at the volume and open interest is a powerful move while trading options. This data can help you track the liquidity and interest for Chevron’s options for a given strike price. Below, we can observe the evolution of the volume and open interest of calls and puts, respectively, for all of Chevron’s whale trades within a strike price range from $70.0 to $180.0 in the last 30 days.

Chevron Option Volume And Open Interest Over Last 30 Days

Biggest Options Spotted:









Symbol PUT/CALL Trade Type Sentiment Exp. Date Strike Price Total Trade Price Open Interest Volume
CVX CALL SWEEP BEARISH 06/17/22 $180.00 $365.7K 1.2K 1.0K
CVX CALL TRADE BEARISH 04/14/22 $145.00 $187.8K 4.0K 102
CVX CALL TRADE BULLISH 01/20/23 $120.00 $133.1K 2.5K 29
CVX CALL TRADE BEARISH 05/20/22 $135.00 $119.2K 2.2K 2
CVX CALL SWEEP BULLISH 06/17/22 $165.00 $118.0K 1.8K 590

Where Is Chevron Standing Right Now?

  • With a volume of 8,551,061, the price of CVX is down -0.39% at $164.0.
  • RSI indicators hint that the underlying stock may be overbought.
  • Next earnings are expected to be released in 38 days.

What The Experts Say On Chevron:

  • Morgan Stanley downgraded its action to Equal-Weight with a price target of $166
  • Citigroup has decided to maintain their Neutral rating on Chevron, which currently sits at a price target of $145.
  • JP Morgan has decided to maintain their Neutral rating on Chevron, which currently sits at a price target of $140.
  • DZ Bank upgraded its action to Buy with a price target of $167
  • RBC Capital has decided to maintain their Outperform rating on Chevron, which currently sits at a price target of $160.

Options are a riskier asset compared to just trading the stock, but they have higher profit potential. Serious options traders manage this risk by educating themselves daily, scaling in and out of trades, following more than one indicator, and following the markets closely.

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‘I went to a morning yoga class underneath a giant blue whale in the Natural History Museum hall and it was unreal to see it so peaceful’ – Tilly Alexander

There’s very few things I’m willing to get out of bed before 8am on a Sunday for: Christmas, yes; a flight, maybe. But an in-person exercise class?

Normally, fat chance. However, a Sunday morning yoga session held in one of the UK’s most visited museums before it opens up to the world is sufficiently special to tempt me. And having attended, I say with certainty: yoga at the Natural History Museum is worth dragging yourself out from under the covers for.



I went to a yoga class in the Natural History Museum – and it was amazing

Waking up around 6.30am earlier that morning, my feelings were admittedly more mixed. Saturday night involved more drinks than intended. ‘Can’t you just go another time?’ coaxed my house party-bound companions, topping up my glass.

READ MORE:‘I went to Wilko for the first time in years and it was way less chaotic than Poundland but not as cheap’

But I couldn’t. Hosted in collaboration with Walthamstow yoga, pilates and barre studio East of Eden , the Natural History Museum’s rise and shine yoga sessions are a rare occurrence that take place only once every seven weeks or so.



Heading to the Natural History Museum with my yoga mat felt strange
Heading to the Natural History Museum with my yoga mat felt strange

The notion of doing downward dog in the normally stiff environment of a grand Victorian museum was also taboo enough to be exciting. And so, puffy-faced but upbeat, I ducked through the South Kensington museum’s wrought iron gates close to 8am, surprised my pink yoga mat elicited no questions from the security guard.

This nonchalance made sense when, entering through the signature orange-and-grey brick building’s huge oak doors with a dramatic creak, I spotted seventy odd people already seated on unfurled mats. On the far stone steps of Hintze Hall, an instructor was already addressing the crowd, so I hastily took my place next to a taxidermied giraffe and its skeleton partner.



To my left were two giraffes
To my left were two giraffes

The group was bigger than I anticipated but well-dispersed speakers combined with the massive atrium’s natural acoustics ensured I could still hear every word. As we intoned our first set of reverberating ‘Ohms’, I thought: ‘Wow, the Natural History Museum is made for this.’ And things only got better.

The opening meditation gave way to a cycle of classic yogic poses, with options provided for beginners and the more advanced among us (not me) and demonstrated by the instructor’s helper on the stairs. We were regularly encouraged to consider the museum’s unique features; chief among them was the gigantic blue whale skeleton hanging in the vaulted hall.



The class takes place under the notorious whale skeleton
The class takes place under the notorious whale skeleton

Having not attended a yoga class outside of my bedroom since pre-lockdown, I was conscious my form was probably off, but hoped to escape correction due to the class size. Unfortunately – though for the best – I did not manage this. Another helper was patrolling through the mats and duly guided me towards a better bridge pose.

The yoga itself lasted just under an hour, three times as long as my usual quick Yoga With Adriene sessions – yet I found it far easier to keep focused and felt invigorated despite the early start. Then came my all-time favourite part: the sound bath.



I managed to take a photo all by myself in the main hall
I managed to take a photo all by myself in the main hall

After being directed to put on our warmer layers, we lay down and closed our eyes as gongs echoed around us. Despite the central London location, the early Sunday morning time meant almost no traffic noise from outside. As the vibrations filled the air, I felt so soothed I could have fallen asleep – right there on the floor of one of the UK’s grandest museums.

READ MORE: ‘I went to London’s weirdest museum to see the giant stuffed walrus and it really was as big as a MINI’

Sadly, the gloriously relaxing echoes wrapped up shortly after 9.15am – but there was more fun to be had still. As Hintze Hall cleared out, participants were told we could mill here or head to the cafe, shop and Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibit (for which tickets normally cost from £15.50) until the rest of the museum officially opened at 10am.



Only shortly after opening and it was already crowded with people
Only shortly after opening and it was already crowded with people

I lingered in the peaceful atrium for a few minutes, shocked that it was so empty I even got a photo of just me and the famous resident whale. When I re-emerged from the photo gallery forty minutes later (brilliant, by the way) there were already visitors streaming in through the doors. So, yes, it was 100 per cent worth the early wake up.

Tickets for Yoga at the Natural History Museum with East of Eden cost £31.50 for NHM members or £35 for non-members – more information or to book here. See East of Eden’s other classes and other offerings here.

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Is there a story you think we should be covering? If so, please email whatson@mylondon.news or at tilly.alexander@reachplc.com

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Beachgoers race to save young false killer whale stranded at Casuarina on the Tweed coast

A day at the beach turned into a rescue mission for members of the public who rallied to save a young false killer washed ashore on a beach at Casuarina in northern New South Wales early on Sunday.

Beachgoers raised the alarm with authorities at about 7am and attempted to re-float the young whale three times, but it stranded itself again further north on Salt Beach at Kingscliff.

By around 9am bystanders had thrown up a tarp over the distressed female and begun working with volunteers from the Organisation for the Rescue and Research of Cetaceans in Australia (ORRCA) and surf lifesavers to keep her cool and moist.

What followed was a three-and-a-half hour effort to keep the 1.7 metre mammal alive while rescuers looked for the rest of her pod off shore.

Volunteer rescuers held a tarpaulin over the whale to protect it from the sun.(Supplied: James Owen )

Surf lifesavers took a boat out while a Sea World chopper searched from above, but the pod could not be found.

False killer whales are found in waters around Australia and generally travel in pods of up to 20 whales. Females grow as long as up to 4.5 metres, while calves are generally half that length.

The stranded juvenile was likely to have just finished weaning, a Sea World spokesperson said. False killer whales are typically weaned around 18 to 24 months.

The bucket squad

Surf lifesaver and local councillor James Owen was on patrol when he heard about the rescue mission and began helping the group of about 20 people who were trying to save the whale.

“People were marching up and down the beach with buckets of water and pouring them over the whale as it lay there,” Mr Owen said.

Wayne Phillips, the Head of Marine Sciences at Sea World, also answered calls for help and joined rescuers on the beach with a veterinarian and a marine rehabilitation officer.

He said the mammal survived thanks to the efforts of the volunteers and community groups.

“There were lots and lots of different people that were helping us out throughout the day. The Australian group ORRCA, Dolphin Research Australia, the surf lifesavers were amazing,” Mr Phillips said.

“The Tweed-Byron local Aboriginal Land Council were also there as well as the police and the water police.”

Close up of a whale calf on the beach
Beachgoers fetched water to keep the whale cool until Sea World staff arrived to care for it.(Supplied: James Owen)

Rare sighting

Mr Phillips said it was “unusual” to see a juvenile false killer whale wash up by itself.

“We suspected that it was a Risso’s dolphin and then we thought it might have been a melon-headed dolphin which are quite common stranders, but we were quite surprised when we arrived and found that it was a juvenile false killer whale,” he said.

“They’re more of an offshore species — so a Pelagic species — so we don’t see them often this close to shore,” he said.

He said Sea World was looking into the effects of the recent floods on the whole marine ecosystem, including marine mammals like the false killer whale.

After failing to find her pod, Mr Phillips and his team transported the whale to Sea World around midday. They plan to rehabilitate the whale so it can join a new pod.

“The only tricky part is to try and find an appropriate pod for her to join and we’ll have to consider that as we move forward,” he said.

“We’d like to think that it would be a positive outcome if we can find a pod of the species.” 

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Beachgoers race to save young false killer whale stranded at Casuarina on the Tweed coast

A day at the beach turned into a rescue mission for members of the public who rallied to save a young false killer washed ashore on a beach at Casuarina in northern New South Wales early on Sunday.

Beachgoers raised the alarm with authorities at about 7am and attempted to re-float the young whale three times, but it stranded itself again further north on Salt Beach at Kingscliff.

By around 9am bystanders had thrown up a tarp over the distressed female and begun working with volunteers from the Organisation for the Rescue and Research of Cetaceans in Australia (ORRCA) and surf lifesavers to keep her cool and moist.

What followed was a three-and-a-half hour effort to keep the 1.7 metre mammal alive while rescuers looked for the rest of her pod off shore.

Volunteer rescuers held a tarpaulin over the whale to protect it from the sun.(Supplied: James Owen )

Surf lifesavers took a boat out while a Sea World chopper searched from above, but the pod could not be found.

False killer whales are found in waters around Australia and generally travel in pods of up to 20 whales. Females grow as long as up to 4.5 metres, while calves are generally half that length.

The stranded juvenile was likely to have just finished weaning, a Sea World spokesperson said. False killer whales are typically weaned around 18 to 24 months.

The bucket squad

Surf lifesaver and local councillor James Owen was on patrol when he heard about the rescue mission and began helping the group of about 20 people who were trying to save the whale.

“People were marching up and down the beach with buckets of water and pouring them over the whale as it lay there,” Mr Owen said.

Wayne Phillips, the Head of Marine Sciences at Sea World, also answered calls for help and joined rescuers on the beach with a veterinarian and a marine rehabilitation officer.

He said the mammal survived thanks to the efforts of the volunteers and community groups.

“There were lots and lots of different people that were helping us out throughout the day. The Australian group ORRCA, Dolphin Research Australia, the surf lifesavers were amazing,” Mr Phillips said.

“The Tweed-Byron local Aboriginal Land Council were also there as well as the police and the water police.”

Close up of a whale calf on the beach
Beachgoers fetched water to keep the whale cool until Sea World staff arrived to care for it.(Supplied: James Owen)

Rare sighting

Mr Phillips said it was “unusual” to see a juvenile false killer whale wash up by itself.

“We suspected that it was a Risso’s dolphin and then we thought it might have been a melon-headed dolphin which are quite common stranders, but we were quite surprised when we arrived and found that it was a juvenile false killer whale,” he said.

“They’re more of an offshore species — so a Pelagic species — so we don’t see them often this close to shore,” he said.

He said Sea World was looking into the effects of the recent floods on the whole marine ecosystem, including marine mammals like the false killer whale.

After failing to find her pod, Mr Phillips and his team transported the whale to Sea World around midday. They plan to rehabilitate the whale so it can join a new pod.

“The only tricky part is to try and find an appropriate pod for her to join and we’ll have to consider that as we move forward,” he said.

“We’d like to think that it would be a positive outcome if we can find a pod of the species.” 

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16th Annual Whale Tales virtual program, March 26-27

A male humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) sings off Maui, Hawaiʻi. Image taken under NMFS Permit # 19225. File PC: Ralph Pace via Whale Tales.

Whale Tales returns for its 16th year, connecting the global whale enthusiast and marine science community with international researchers, creatives, and conservationists for a one-of-a-kind virtual experience, March 26-27, 2022.

Whale Tales is presented annually by Whale Trust, a Maui-based whale research and education organization, in partnership with The Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua. The 2022 Whale Tales virtual program was crafted to allow viewers to join from all regions of the world, at all levels of interest and curiosity about whales and the ocean planet we share.

The Whale Tales virtual program begins at 11 a.m. HST, featuring an education expo, two-hour live streamed talks and presenter panels each day, a kids education library, on-demand presentations, and interactive experiences for attendees of all ages.

Registration is required. Whale Tales attendee will:

  • Learn the latest scientific and creative discoveries in the field from the experts themselves through event livestream and on-demand presentations;
  • Connect with local organizations working to understand and protect the ocean, including Hawaiʻi Wildlife Center, 4Ocean, Maui Ocean Center, and more;
  • Explore a 4D whale necropsy to learn about the anatomy of a whale, immerse yourself in an underwater snorkel dive inside the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, and view humpback nursing from the whale’s perspective; 
  • Participate in a Silent Auction featuring experiences and items that directly support whale research efforts in Hawaiʻi;
  • Visit a learning library of resources in the event’s Keiki Corner including video lessons, advice for aspiring students, and downloadable activities; 
  • Hear from creatives, artists, photographers, and filmmakers, on how they use art to inspire discovery and protection of whales and the ocean.

The Whale Tales Virtual Event Registration Pass is available now at whaletales.org and includes access to the event site for 30+ days after the streaming weekend, as well as an exclusive Earth Day Presentation & Closing Panel taking place on Saturday, April 23, 2022. 

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The mission of Whale Tales is to offer the public insight and knowledge about whales and the marine environment.

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Student, educator, and kama ‘āina discounts are available. If you’re facing a barrier to attendance, submit a custom request at whaletales.org to apply for discounted registration.

The 16th Annual Whale Tales program is presented in partnership with The Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua and made possible by many sponsors and supporters. This year’s presenting and premier sponsors are Makana Aloha Foundation, George and Marie Weis, and Lindblad Expeditions/National Geographic. 

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Fanged Skull Of An Ancient Predatory Whale Found In Peru’s Ocucaje Desert

Whale, predator, and desert aren’t exactly three words you expect to find in the same sentence, but it all starts to make more sense when you realize the deadly marine mammal in question is 36 million years old. The discovery of a basilosaurus‘s skull in the Ocucaje Desert in Peru is evidence of the region’s history, having once been a shallow sea home to primitive sea mammals.

The ancient animal is a basilosaurus, and it was uncovered in 2021 roughly 350 kilometers (215 miles) south of Lima. It joins many primitive remains uncovered in the dunes there but stands out as a remarkably well-preserved specimen.

“This is an extraordinary find because of its great state of preservation,” said Rodolfo Salas-Gismondi, head of the Department of Vertebrate Paleontology at the Natural History Museum in Lima, to AFP. “This animal was one of the largest predators of its time.”

The ocean giant has been nicknamed the “Ocucaje Predator,” a suitably fearsome name for a 17-meter (55-foot) long hunter whose large jaws would’ve hosted some intimidating dentition. It’s these teeth that have led paleontologists to place basilosaurus at the top of the food chain, making it more than qualified to take down fish, sharks, and other archaic whales.

The 36-million-year-old basilosaurus leaves behind a complete skull, representing an exciting opportunity for scientists to learn more about these ancient and impressive predators. Its large and overlapping teeth can now be seen at the Museum of Natural History in Lima where the specimen is on display.

The Ocucaje Desert is something of a playground for paleontologists with a penchant for ancient marine animals. Like a lucky dip sandpit for evolutionarily curious adults, its hidden treasures hail back as far as 42 million years and historical fossil finds have included Miocene era dolphins, sharks, and rare four-legged dwarf whales.

“At that time, the Peruvian sea was warm,” said Salas-Gismondi to AFP. “Thanks to this type of fossil, we can reconstruct the history of the Peruvian sea.”

The wiggly swim of basilosaurus. Image credit: Janson, Andrew R, public domain.

“King lizard” is the rough meaning behind the name basilosaurus. While something of a misnomer, (basilosaurus being a mammal, not a lizard) it’s thought they may have moved through the water a little bit like a snake.

Like a snake, that is, with a giant, fanged face.

 “It was a marine monster,” Reuters reports Salas-Gismondi said. “When it was searching for its food, it surely did a lot of damage.”

[H/T: Phys.org]